That’s how Phoenix Suns guard Landry Shamet is living his life right now after finding closure on one end and opening the door to a whole new world when finally meeting his father, Ron Davis.
“I connected with my father for the first time last year, last fall,” a forthcoming Shamet said at Monday’s media day. “And with that stepped in a big brother role with three younger siblings. Hadn’t met any of them. They didn’t know about me. I’ve known about them since I was like 16.”
Shamet's mom, Melanie, told him about his dad when he was a teenager.
Nearly 10 years later, he reached out to Davis, who played overseas for 15 years.
“The only child of a single mom my whole life, it’s a life changer,” Shamet continued. “Stepping into that, putting myself in that position, I think I underestimated all that would come with it. The things that would go on internally with me. So truthfully, a lot of the time last year, my mind stepping into games, it wasn’t all on basketball. I feel like I’m in a spot now where it can be because this whole summer, I was with family all summer.”
Now at peace with that and many more things, Shamet enters his second season in Phoenix with a clear mind and focus on playing at a high level.
“I’ll be the first to tell you, the year I had last year, that’s not the best product I want to put on the floor,” Shamet said. “I know that. I know what I’m capable of. I believe in what I’m capable of.”
Shamet admitted he didn’t have intentions on discussing this on media day, but felt an urge to open up about what is now a very important aspect of his life.
“That’s my life, my truth, who I am,” Shamet said. “And I’m proud of it. Proud of all of it. Proud of how it’s all gone.”
Shamet spoke with an edge and focus that further confirms he’s put the past behind and is solely focused on what’s really important – family and basketball.
“You’re under a limelight and there’s times you can get carried away and caught up and care too much about that limelight and in what people think, say, whatever,” he said. “In reality, it’s really as simple as you make it. Truthfully, it’s just basketball, it’s my family, it’s my siblings and that’s my life right now and it feels really good.”
Shamet said he spent this summer getting to know his siblings, who have in turn given him a different support system he’d never experienced before.
“I love them to death,” he said. “It’s been the coolest situation for me ever. It gives me purpose. I don’t care what anyone says about me 'cause I got them. It’s really cool. Having kind of sort some of that out, that’s part of my life now. There’s not a lot of unknown there anymore.”
Shamet felt he had the weight of the world on his back with this situation.
Free of that mental and emotional yearning for answers, Shamet is free to flourish as a player, a son to his father who had dreams of playing in the NBA and a big brother to a newfound group of siblings.
“Crazy,” Shamet said. “It’s crazy.”
'I'm in a good place'
Shamet certainly sounds as if he’s in a better place after having a down year.
In his first season in Phoenix, Shamet, 25, averaged career lows in points (8.3 per game), field goal percentage (39.4%) and 3-point percentage (36.8%).
Shamet later found himself out of the rotation during the playoffs as he scored a total of 52 points in 12 playoff games.
Certainly not Shamet’s best.
“I know that,” continued Shamet, who had a bout with COVID-19 and suffered foot and ankle injuries last season. “I know what I’m capable of. I believe in what I’m capable of.”
He drew heavy criticism and saw his name scattered across trade talks this offseason. Shamet owns how he underperformed, admits he was distracted and took time in the offseason to address it all in totality.
“Last year, I had 100,000 things going on and to be able to kind of manage that in step in as a man this summer and even the grounds for myself,” Shamet said.
“I just feel like I’m in a good place. I saw a lot about what people said about me last year and I respect it. I agree it with it. I’m my biggest critic before anybody else. I know that’s not Landry. That’s not the best version of me and I know what that can be and what that looks like. I’m just ready to get going.”
A candid Shamet said he “put a lot of s—t to bed this summer that I needed to” that’ll hopefully lead him playing to his capabilities this season.
“A lot of things personally in my life, I’m in a good place,” Shamet said. “I feel like what’s to come in the second year with the team. I’ve been on a number of teams and being able to come back to the same organization and the same group, I’m really excited about it. I feel really good about it.”
This will be the first time Shamet has started two consecutive seasons with the same team.
The 6-4 guard began his career at Philadelphia, but he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers his rookie year. He played all his second season with the Clippers, but got dealt to Brooklyn before his third season.
Then Phoenix traded Jevon Carter and a first round pick to the Nets for Shamet on draft night in 2021.
The Suns signed Shamet to a four-year extension for $43 million. The contract brought a sense of stability and comfort, but Shamet never consistently found his game last season.
When he did, Phoenix won at high rate.
The Suns went 19-4 in the regular season with Shamet scored at least 10 points.
So while Shamet can play the one, the Suns can use his scoring to help ease pressure off their All-Star backcourt of Devin Booker and Chris Paul to get buckets.
“We put a lot of emphasis on Chris and Book to make a lot of the plays down the stretch,” Shamet said. “It’s times that teams are going to take some of those options away. So, stepping in and being able to make the right play. Make plays off the dribble for others. Get guys involved, score, pass.”
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Landry Shamet meets father, siblings; is focused on family, basketball